I was invited to participate in a Blog Chain by one of my favourite people on the planet Vashti Quiroz-Vega. Her blog posts and articles are often just plain genius, she is a great supporter of animals and humanity, an artist, an awesome poet, a wonderful supporter of friends and fellow scribblers – oh – and she can scare the pants off you too. I never want to miss a word she writes – love it! Read her gripping book – you won’t regret it – I promise you!
A kid should not be aware of his own heartbeat, he thought. Robbie is an ordinary boy in the city who struggles with the desire to prove himself to his friends, his enemies, and himself. When Robbie’s father, a stubborn man determined to teach his son through tough love, witnesses Robbie being bullied, he forces Robbie to face his fears. Robbie is then sentenced to a frightening challenge–staying in the basement alone for a night. But what lies in the dark recesses of the basement? Will Robbie make it out alive and well? Will the urban legend about the terrifying creatures that hide in the dark basement prove to be true? And most importantly, will Robbie prove to his friends and his father that he is brave enough to take on the challenge? The Basement is a tale of angst, teamwork and solutions, treasure hunts and adventure, and facing fears. It is a focus on the small world of one group of preteens and the very real and wondrous world they face.
The rules of this tag are to answer the following four writing questions, and then tag three other authors. Next week, February 10, 2014, these three authors will answer the same questions and tag three others, and so the chain continues to grow larger. This will enable readers to get to know more authors and their books. It will also allow everyone to get to know these authors a little better.
1. What are you currently working on?
The second book in the Shadow People series, and another called Lesser Being, which I’m trying to stop expanding – it’s developed an agenda of its own and isn’t overly keen on ending.
2. How does your work differ from others in the same genre?
Ack – the G word! I challenge anyone to tell me what specific genre Shadow People falls into. I write the stories as they happen in my head, and mostly my stories don’t stay in the lines. I suppose that the answer to this question would be that it differs from the genre because it falls into many others too.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I have never sat down and said, I’m going to write one thing or another. Switches go off in my old noggin all the time with stories that want to get out. I don’t restrict myself to writing in a specific genre or style, and never will. I love writing, and it really just has to happen or I’ll pop.
4. How does your writing process work?
Generally it begins with a character. These people (or dragons, or sentient chickens) arrive fully named and clothed generally, and let me know what they plan to be getting on with. On the couple of occasions that things stopped flowing naturally on their own, I ended up with some really rotten pages, so I never try to force the words anymore – I zoom off and spend some time with my friends on the wonderful web – which is currently still mostly locking me out by the way. Now that I’m getting a little more experience as a writer, I make sure to make notes of characters and scenes as I go along. I also stick poster sheets on the wall, and jot in possible future scenes and character information on that too.
Picking only three authors was REALLY hard for me, but knowing this lovely world of indie scribblers as I do, I know more of these wonderful opportunities will come up again. So I’ve picked three books from authors that I’m currently jumping up and down in my haste to read. I’m recommending on the strength of loving what I’ve seen of them, and the fact that these are books I would buy even if I didn’t know who wrote them. But I do know who wrote them, which makes it even better. So…
Is by the truly awesome Alison Jack. This author has been involved in the publishing world long before she decided to publish herself. Even so, she is a wonderful friend, and tireless supporter of writers everywhere. That’s not why I want to read Dory’s Avengers though – have a read guys!
In a stifled and oppressed United Kingdom, nothing can be achieved without the approval of the dictatorial Sponsors, at whose head is the malevolent and cruel Lord William St Benedict. In Britain’s cities the Sponsored live narrow, if privileged, lives, while the Unsponsored are confined to menial roles and to the ‘less desirable’ districts. Among the Sponsors’ many victims is Lord William’s own son, the forthright and charismatic Theodore – ‘Dory’ – held captive by his father since he was a boy.
In the unassuming town of Applethwaite, in the depths of the Cumbrian countryside, however, an unlikely revolution is brewing. Albino gymnast Louis Trevelyan and his motley group of friends are fiercely proud of their Unsponsored status and gradually forge a plan not only to liberate the beleaguered Theodore but the whole of the United Kingdom.
I start smiling before her posts open on my screen, because I know she’s going to make me laugh already. And I have a notebook to jot down all the new words I’ve learnt from her. For me, finding an author like M T McGuire is like finding gold. I do love sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, but finding a writer that can make me make sure to go to the loo before I read their book makes for a happy, happy me. There aren’t many who can do this for me by the way, so recommending M T McGuire’s book is a big deal – definitely go get it. And while you are lurking around Amazon, have a squiz at MTM’s gorgeous author photo – love it!
The Pan of Hamgee isn’t paranoid. There must be some people in K’Barth who aren’t out to get him it’s just that, right now, he’s not sure where they are. His family are dead, his existence is treason and he does the only thing he can to survive – getaway driving.
As if being on the run isn’t bad enough, when he finds a magic thimble and decides to keep it, he unwittingly sets himself on a collision course with Lord Vernon, K’Barth’s despot ruler.
Unwillingly The Pan is forced to make choices and stand up for his beliefs, beliefs he never knew he had until they were challenged. But when he is faced with a stark moral dilemma will his new found integrity stick? Can he stop running?
My final pick (only because ladies first) is Kevin Cooper. As an added bonus to getting to read his fantastic fantasy, I love his blog posts. He writes and sings beautiful music, and his poems get you right in the heart every time. I’m happy to call this author friend, but once again, that is not why I love to read his books. Off you zoom to Amazon again….
This is an epic fantasy tale that takes us to the land of Geo which is a relatively small island where farmers, simple village folk, goblins and trolls live in relative harmony.
The land is shepherded by a wizard whose main role is to keep the peace and harmony by travelling throughout the land every year resolving any developed disputes along the way.
Normally this is a relatively easy job for the wizard and no one even remembers him having to perform any magic or put spells on anyone or anything to keep the peace. But then one day, all the simple folk disappear and there is a shadow lurking over the last mountain.
What are the goblins and trolls going to do without people to trade with? What is lurking in the shadow over the last mountain? Who is the little girl that magically appears and what has the unicorn’s horn got to do with any of the goings on?
More importantly, will the wizard be able to defeat the shadow and get the simple folk back? In order to find out, one must read: The Wizard, The Girl and The Unicorn’s Horn.
Enjoy guys! Now to see if that Publish button works again…..